Lawmakers in Florida have been seeking for changes in the Florida divorce law, believing that some provision in the existing guidelines are outdated and can be improved further. The same thing has been happening in other states, especially if you consider the changing needs and circumstances of every citizen in the state.
The need for these updates to divorce law have been expressed through different bills that would hopefully bring change to the way alimony is determined, as well as the rights given to parents during child custody cases.
Alimony continues to be one challenge that divorcing couples go through, often prolonging the process or making it more complicated than it should be. The battle to receive lifetime, rehabilitative, or durational alimony creates an even wider gap between couple who have decided to legally part ways instead of allowing them to communicate effectively and make the process easier.
With the proposed changes in the Florida divorce law, lawmakers want to have a single type of post-dissolution alimony to make things simpler and fairer. One bill even aims to create a formula that judges will be using to compute how much alimony should be given. Basically, the longer the marriage is, the bigger the alimony as well. This means that couple who were married for over 20 years would mean bigger alimony, while those who were together for less than two years may not even get any alimony at all.
Child Custody, another thing that makes any Florida divorce process messy, is something that lawmakers are looking at changing as well. As much as possible, child custody would means giving each parent equal time to spend with their children.
These arrangements could still be modified by the judge though, with a total of 22 different considerations in place. These include preferences of both the parents and the children, school schedules (including school activities), and other relevant factors.
Despite the strong support for these changes especially on the alimony bill, Governor Scott exercised his veto powers, pushing lawmakers to wait for another year before they get their chance to take another shot.
The bill that was submitted has actually passed through the hands of Scott in 2013, but was vetoed because of a single provision. What surprises the majority this time is the fact that the newer version of the bill was still vetoed despite the removal of the provisions that Scott did not agree with previously.
Scott admits that he is taking this very personally because he is a husband, a father and a grandfather. This is why he says that he should be even more judicious in this case. Although it is true that different situations call for different measures, he says that one thing that must remain constant is the fact that the children’s welfare has to come first. In the case of this bill, he says that it opens up opportunities for parents to put their own interests first instead of the children’s.
It was Senator Tom Lee, R-Brandon, who pushed for the bill, and it was very evident that he was very displeased with the outcome. He admits that what proves to be a big challenge is how vague Governor Scott’s statements are. Lee says that Scott did not even specify which provisions he wanted to be changed, making it unclear what other changes they can make to push the Governor to sign the bill next year.
Considering the huge support for Florida divorce law changes, it could still be possible for different Florida divorce considerations to be altered in the future. But for now, it seems that a different approach should be considered to finally convince the Governor that the bill is something that the state needs.